Moonshine Is Back In A Big Way

800px-Former_moonshiner_John_Bowman_explaining_the_workings_of_a_moonshine_still_American_Folklife_CenterApparently not just because we’re in a never-ending crisis, either. Time reports on why Moonshine is the trendiest bottle on the shelf:

“They call it that old mountain dew, and thems that refuse it are few…” So goes the old song, and it gets truer every month. Yes, the distilled spirit known as moonshine, white lightning, white dog, or simply white whisky is the liquor of the moment, bringing together whiskey geeks, home distillers, and high-end mixologists, all of whom find in the formerly clandestine rotgut a new means of expression, both for their palates and their politics.

Why is moonshine making a comeback? For the same reason absinthe did a few years ago. Because it’s delicious. Because it’s illegal. And because it’s cool. Moonshine, both then and now, is whiskey as it comes out of the still: no oak barrels, no caramel color, no aging. It’s just straight liquor from fermented corn or wheat mash. None of the luxury-tinged language that surrounds its grown-up siblings, like bourbon or Scotch, apply to the dog. There are no 12 years of “mellowing,” no “complex vanilla notes.” If you get one flavor out of a white whiskey you’re doing well. Historically, you’re doing well if you don’t die or go blind after drinking it; the standards of moonshine manufacture, from George Washington’s time forward, have not been especially high.

The Washington reference, by the way, isn’t a random one: in his second term as President, a major rebellion based on untaxed moonshine tested the new nation’s mettle. Washington fought the bootleggers back into their hills and holes, where they have remained ever since…

[continues at Time]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

Latest posts by majestic (see all)

4 Comments on "Moonshine Is Back In A Big Way"

  1. And, because it's cheaper. Actually, we brew our own wines here, because it's much cheaper than buying from the stores. It's very easy, because 95% of the work is done by a company who specializes in the brew-it-yourself (we just do the bottling, and adding the yeast to the mix). And we're using mixes of fruit or grape juices, so the outcome is practically guaranteed. What more could you ask? Sure, it's no $30 or $50 bottle of wine, but we couldn't afford to drink that every day anyway.

  2. Hadrian999 | May 19, 2010 at 5:28 am |

    i’m going to laugh if marijuana is legal before making your own whiskey

  3. Hadrian999 | May 19, 2010 at 12:28 am |

    i'm going to laugh if marijuana is legal before making your own whiskey

  4. Hadrian999 | May 19, 2010 at 1:28 am |

    i'm going to laugh if marijuana is legal before making your own whiskey

Comments are closed.